The cost of a grave is $900 each. There are no discounts for the purchase of multiple graves. We no longer sell ½ graves for babies.
Can I make payments?
The only time that we can take payments for the purchase of a grave is at the time of a death and the grave will be used immediately. Purchaser must sign Payment Agreement. (This allows time to collect life insurance, if necessary.) All pre-need purchases must be paid in one lump sum. It is illegal for a municipality to finance.
Can I pay with a credit card?
The Town of Smyrna does accept credit cards; however, there is a fee of $2.45 per $100 to offset the costs that the Town incurs when a credit card is used. (To charge the full price of $900.00 on a credit card, the fee would be $22.05.)
How much does it cost to open and close the grave?
Opening and closing costs are handled through the funeral homes. The purchaser/owner of any grave site is responsible for all costs involved in the removal of any rock and/or unsuitable soils from the grave site.
What if I want to bury a crematory urn?
The Town no longer does the opening and closing for the burial of cremains. The family must go through a funeral home. Families are not allowed to bury them themselves. (or bury anything else!)
Do my decorations have to be kept on the headstone?
Markers must be kept at the head and/or at the foot of the grave. The placement of fencing on, and/or the ornamental outlining of any type of, any grave site is prohibited. Ground cover such as stone, mulch, and/or wood chips prevents staff from properly maintaining the cemetery and is not permitted. All decorations must be kept on the marker or within six inches of the headstone. (dimensions of a grave = 4’ X 10’)
Can I plant flowers or a tree?
To allow visitor access and mowing maintenance, no landscaping can be planted on the grave sites. The planting of trees on any grave site is prohibited.
Can I place a bench at the grave site?
The purchaser and/or owner of any grave site is allowed to place a single bench on such grave site, provided that any such bench is kept within the dimensions of such individual grave site and is made of a material which will not deteriorate or rust. The Town of Smyrna and/or its agents shall not be held liable for any damage to, and/or any loss of, any such bench. To allow visitor access and mowing maintenance, benches must be placed perpendicular to the grave for which it is intended. It must be placed at the head or the foot of the grave, not beside or within the aisles. The bench is limited to the width of the grave (4 feet).
Where can I get a headstone?
Headstones can be purchased through any monument company. We do not sell headstones and cannot recommend any particular company.
How will the monument company know where to put the headstone?
The purchaser or monument company is required to contact us at (615) 355-5782, 48 hours prior to the placement of headstones or markers. The Town will mark the area where a headstone/marker can be placed. We do not set the headstones/markers. They must be set by a monument company.
Is the cemetery only opened certain hours?
Mapleview Cemetery hours are 8:00am until 6:00pm daily. The Smyrna Police Department regularly patrols the cemetery. We do not close the gates.
Who cleans the cemetery and how often?
The Town of Smyrna provides lawn care and periodically removes and discards old flowers. Funeral flowers will be removed from graves within two weeks of the service. To help ensure public safety at the Cemetery, the Town of Smyrna reserves the right to remove any floral designs, flowers, weeds, trees, shrubs or plants of any kind from the Cemetery as soon as, in the judgment of the Cemetery management, they become diseased, damaged, invasive, overgrown, or if they do not conform to the Cemetery’s clean-up schedule. Cleaning dates are posted at the entrance of the cemetery. All items that are removed are discarded. The ONLY way to ensure personal items are not removed when the Cemetery is cleaned is for the family to take everything off the weeks of the cleaning and put it back the following week.
Does the family need to remove funeral flowers?
Funeral flowers can be removed by the family, if desired. Otherwise, the Town will remove them when they become diseased, damaged, invasive, overgrown, or if they do not conform to the Cemetery’s clean-up schedule. (usually within two weeks after the funeral)
Who fills any areas of the grave that have sunk/settled?
The Town will fill any areas that have sunk or settled. Settling is normal especially after heavy rain. A new grave may need filled 2-3 times before completely settled.
What are the dates for overall cleaning at Mapleview Cemetery?
Mapleview Cemetery receives a thorough cleaning twice during the year, once in the Spring and once in the Fall. Spring dates: February 15th thru March 1st. Fall dates: October 1st - 15th
Please call (615) 355 - 5782 if you have any questions.
Are gravel driveways/roads being taxed?
No. The storm water user fee is a utility fee and not a tax. For residential properties, driveways have been included as part of the impervious surface that has been averaged into the calculation to determine the storm water user fee. For non-residential properties, driveways will be included in determining the amount of impervious surface on which the storm water user fee is based. Public roads and rights-of-way are exempt from the storm water user fee.
Are there any possible credits available?
The only credit available to residential properties is the Small Homes Credit. Other credits are available to non-residential properties. The Town of Smyrna has adopted a Storm Water Utility Credit and Adjustment Policy Manual to provide an avenue and process for determining and administering credits and necessary adjustments.
Are there any properties in the Town that do not pay a storm water fee?
All public rights of way, public streets and public roads, public alleys, public sidewalks and public greenways, public “park and ride” facilities and bus stops, and railroad right of way properties within the Town of Smyrna are considered exempt, and thus, no storm water user fee is assessed for those properties.
Do mosquitoes breed in the storm water ponds?
Yes. If a detention pond is not properly maintained and holds water longer than seventy-two hours there is a possibility that the pond will cause mosquitoes to breed. These ponds are to be inspected regularly by the Town under federal and state laws.
Does the Post Office pay a storm water fee?
Does the Town of Smyrna pay a storm water fee for Town owned property?
How does the Town currently pay for its storm water services?
Money from the Town’s General Fund, which is revenue derived from property and sales taxes collected by the Town, currently pays for the limited amount of storm water services the Town can currently afford. Storm water must compete for these funds with other Town services such as parks, roads, libraries, and police and fire protection. These funds are not always available, and we must develop a dedicated revenue stream. The storm water user fee provides a reliable and fair method for collecting monies in order to allow the Town to provide increased and improved storm water management services.
How much money will this fee raise?
It is anticipated that the fee will generate approximately 1.35 million dollars per year. An exact figure cannot yet be provided as there may be credits and adjustments made along the way.
How often will the fee be updated/changed?
The fee will be set from time to time by ordinance in the fee schedule as adopted by the Town Council. The budget for the storm water utility fund, its revenues and expenditures, will be examined on a yearly basis in accordance with the budget process for the Town of Smyrna. The basis for the fee will be examined no less than every five years.
How will the billing process work?
Each parcel within the town limits shall be charged a storm water user fee based on the classifications in the ordinance. Residential properties will see a storm water user fee included on their regular water and/or sewer utility bill. If a property does not have either water or sewer provided by the Town of Smyrna or Consolidated Utility District, then the property owner will receive a separate storm water user fee bill from the Town of Smyrna. Non-residential properties will be billed in the same manner. Multi-tenant non-residential units may be billed individually if the unit is individually metered for water and/or sewer service. If the multi-tenant non-residential unit is part of a property that is master metered, then the customer of record for the master meter will receive a storm water user fee billing for the entire property.
How will you decide which storm water projects/improvements get done first?
The Public Works Department, with the input of the Town Council, will prioritize storm water management projects based on need, recommendations, and the requirements for compliance with the mandate from the federal and state government. Storm water management projects will also have to be prioritized based on the ability of the Town to pay for the cost of the project.
I am renting an apartment or house. Do I have to pay this charge?
Multi-tenant residential properties will be billed the minimum charge, the same as the single family residential fee, if the apartment unit is individually metered. If the apartment complex is master metered, then the customer of record for the master meter will be billed a storm water user fee for the entire property.
Individuals or businesses which rent property will receive billing for the storm water user fee if the water and/or sewer meter is in the renter’s name. Property owners are obligated to pay storm water user fees. It will be up to the individual property owner and the renter to decide how to handle the assessed fee.
I have a detention pond on my property. Will the Utility become responsible for the maintenance of the pond?
No. The Town of Smyrna has adopted a Dry Detention Basin Policy, and at this time, maintenance remains the responsibility of the property owner on which the detention pond is located.
I have a septic tank. Why should I pay this fee?
Wastewater, such as is treated by the septic tank, is not the same as storm water. Septic tanks do not process and handle storm water. The storm water utility fee is used specifically to address town wide storm water issues. A septic tank is used to treat wastewater at a specific location. This wastewater is water that comes out of individual households or businesses. Properties that use septic tanks are not charged for sanitary sewer service; however, having a septic tank does not address the necessity of storm water management. It should be noted that properties that are connected to the sanitary sewer system do pay for the sanitary sewer service as well as the storm water utility fee.
I have made inquiries of the Town regarding drainage issues on or near my property for sometime and nothing is done. Will you fix the problem now?
Some drainage complaints that the Town receives are for problems on private property that the Town has no authority to address. The existence of a Storm Water Utility will not change that. There are, however, historical problems located on public property or which impact private property within public drainage easements, which problems can be addressed as a result of the Storm Water Utility.
I live on a farm on a huge lot and the water never runs off my site. How can you justify billing me?
It would be a rare situation for any property owner to be able to guarantee with 100% certainly that no water of any kind ever left property boundaries. As noted previously, providing for and addressing storm water is a public service provided for by the Town of Smyrna. All buildings, even farms, contain impervious surfaces (a surface which prevents water from being infiltrated). Impervious surfaces on your parcel inevitably place a demand on the storm water system. Storm water runoff generated by any property must be controlled and conveyed once it leaves the property so that it does not create problems for others. Both the quantity of storm water and the quality of storm water, i.e. making sure pollutants are limited, impact the entire storm water system for the Town of Smyrna. The Town of Smyrna has adopted a classification for agricultural properties. Please check the Storm Water Utility Fee Ordinance to see if your parcel fits in this classification.
If I disagree with the amount I am being charged, what do I do?
If I rent an apartment in the loft of a commercial building how will I be charged?
Such units shall be charged as non-residential. Multi-tenant non-residential units may be billed individually if the unit is individually metered for water and/or sewer service. If the multi-tenant nonresidential unit is part of a property that is master metered, then the customer of record for the master meter will receive a storm water user fee billing for the entire property the storm water user fee will be included. Again, property owners are obligated to pay storm water user fees. It will be up to the individual property owner and the renter to decide how to handle the assessed fee.
Is the storm water utility fee considered a tax?
No, the storm water utility fee is not a tax. It is a utility fee generated to maintain the storm water utility system and fund the compliance with the federal mandate. It is user based, and the fee is based on contribution to the storm sewer system.
Is the storm water utility fee legal?
Yes, storm water utility fees are legal. Although storm water utility fees have been challenged in the past, state and federal courts have ruled that storm water utility fees are necessary to maintain the public storm water system and represent an equitable way for the community to share the cost of a public service. They are becoming more and more common throughout the United States.
Is this just another tax in disguise?
While it is true that you are now paying a fee that you didn’t have to pay in the past, the storm water user fee is a UTILITY fee, not a tax. The storm water user fee is not much different from sanitary sewer, water, or other utilities fees. Because the Town is being forced to spend more money on storm water management than we have in the past, the additional cost had to be passed along to citizens. This new cost is technically a user fee rather than a tax. Had the Town opted to simply pay the additional costs by raising property taxes, the increased cost to the average homeowner would have been more than what you’re paying now through the new utility fee. This is because a user fee can be charged to tax-exempt properties, thereby spreading the cost out over a larger number of people and businesses.
What happens if the Town does nothing or refuses to comply with the mandate?
Should the Town choose not to comply with the mandate, penalties for willful non-compliance can reach up to $25,000 per day each day a separate offense or imprisonment, or both. Penalties assessed for violation of the mandate would inevitably be passed on to the citizens in the form of higher tax rates.
What is a storm water utility fee?
A storm water utility fee is similar to a water or sewer utility fee. In essence, customers pay a fee to convey storm water from their properties. The Town of Smyrna’s storm water user fee is the result of an unfunded mandate from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and Tennessee Department of Environmental and Conservation (TDEC) on storm water discharges. This fee is used to finance annual compliance with the mandate.
What is the storm water drainage system?
The storm water drainage system is the system that collects, conveys, stores or otherwise treats or affects storm water or surface water. It can include a network of underground pipes and open channels designed for flood or drainage control which discharge straight to a receiving water body.
What was the process for establishing the storm water user fee?
The storm water user fee is based on a property’s impervious surface area. Impervious areas include rooftops, driveways, parking lots, patios, sidewalks, out buildings and other surfaces which impede the infiltration of storm water. Using the Town’s Geographic Information System (GIS) and aerial photography, all impervious surfaces in the Town were measured. Based on a study of the residential properties, the average square feet of impervious surface was determined to be 3,543, also referred to as the Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU).
Who else is paying a storm water utility fee?
Every parcel owner in the Town is responsible for paying a storm water utility fee including City, State and Federal government parcels and public institutions, and commercial and industrial parcel owners. Only exempt properties, such as public roads, are not charged. Other municipalities across the United States and in Tennessee, including the cities of Murfreesboro, Franklin, LaVergne, Johnson City, Dyersburg, Maryville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Memphis, to name a few, have implemented a storm water utility fee. Metro Nashville/Davidson County is currently considering the implementation of a storm water utility fee.
Why are churches and schools being billed?
Churches and schools, just like government and other non-profit agency buildings, impact storm water utility systems just like commercial and industrial sites. Providing for and addressing storm water is a public service provided for by the Town of Smyrna. All buildings contain impervious surfaces (a surface which prevents water from being infiltrated). Impervious surfaces on the parcels of churches and schools also place a demand on the storm water system. Storm water runoff generated by any property must be controlled and conveyed once it leaves the property so that it does not create problems for others. Both the quantity of storm water and the quality of storm water, i.e. making sure pollutants are limited, impact the entire storm water system for the Town of Smyrna. The storm water user fee is a utility fee, similar to water and sewer. Schools and churches have water, sewer and other utility fees; the storm water fee should be handled similarly.
Why are the storm water and sewer systems separate?
Unlike wastewater, which is treated before it is released back into the environment, storm water goes directly into a community's ponds, streams and lakes. Because storm water comes in large amounts at unpredictable times, treating it as wastewater would be very expensive.
Why do we need to spend more for storm water?
Historically, the allocation of funds has not been sufficient to address all of the Town’s storm water service needs. Although the Town has done a good job providing storm water services on a limited budget, the backlog of storm water projects has grown and additional maintenance activities are required. Local, state and federal laws also require that municipalities address the environmental impacts of storm water pollution, but do not provide the funds to do it. Consequently, the Town must investigate alternative means for raising revenue.
Why have cities implemented these programs?
Federal and state regulations require the Town of Smyrna to address the amount of runoff and the pollution carried by the water that is deposited, untreated, into our creeks, streams, and rivers. Storm water quality management programs are responses to regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) connected to the federal Clean Water Act. These regulations require cities with more than 100,000 (Phase I) people to obtain a permit under the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System and to create a comprehensive program to seek out and eliminate, to the maximum extent practical, pollutants carried by storm water.
Why is this issue being addressed at this time?
In addition to meeting the city’s current storm water needs, Smyrna’s new storm water revenue will provide the Town with the funding and tools necessary to meet the federal and state regulatory requirements.
Why should I pay for rain falling on my property?
You are not paying a fee for rain falling on your property. You are being charged a utility service fee for the cost and privilege of discharging storm water into the public storm water system, which the Town is obligated under law to maintain. With a storm water rate, users are charged a fee for runoff discharged from their property to the Town’s storm water management system, not by the amount of rain falling on their property. Property owners control the level of development on their properties, which directly impacts the runoff characteristics of the parcel.
Will the creation of a Storm Water Utility result in a reduction of my property taxes?
No. Historically, only a small amount of general fund revenues have been allocated to storm water management activities. These limited dollars will simply be absorbed into other expanding programs such as our Fire and Police Departments.